Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator




Do I know who he is,
this freckle-faced lad
standing with a beach
ball on the wet sand?

His striped shirt tucked
into a snake-clasped
multi-coloured belt
on grey flannel shorts

he poses for the camera
held by my father
in this holiday snap
from where? from when?

from the lost past
of me as I was
then but I can’t find
myself in him and

if he threw the ball
far into the future
for me to catch
it would be snapped

away by the wind
in the time it takes
to reach my hands
and go bounding off

down the long beach
each bounce lower
than the one before
until it fetches up

on a barrier of sharp
rocks where it stops
pricked by a spike
and slowly deflates.

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved